Pettersen fends off Salas in Hawaii
Oahu, HI (Sports Network) - Suzann Pettersen 2-putted for par on the first playoff hole Saturday to defeat Lizette Salas and win the LPGA LOTTE Championship.
Pettersen bogeyed the final hole of regulation for a 5-under 67. Salas, whose birdie effort on the 18th hole lipped out, fired a 7-under 29 on the back nine en route to a course-record, 10-under 62 at Ko Olina Golf Club.
They finished at 19-under-par 269 and smashed the 72-hole tournament scoring record of 276, which Ai Miyazato set when she won last year.
"You know what, I tried to get to 20(-under par). Before teeing off today, I thought 20 was going to do it," Pettersen said in a greenside interview.
Pettersen and Salas headed back to the 18th tee for the playoff and both found the fairway with their tee shots. Pettersen played first and hit her approach about 20 feet left of the hole.
Salas, who was in her first LPGA Tour playoff, chunked her second shot into the water. She hit her fourth to 15 feet. Pettersen's birdie effort came up two feet short of the hole. Salas' bogey effort stopped just left of the hole, and she tapped in for double bogey.
"My only bad shot of the day was that chunk in the playoff," Salas stated. "A chunk was not bad, but there's water. I played my behind off today. After that eagle on 10, I kept the momentum going. I'm very proud of myself and I'm almost there for my first win."
Pettersen kicked in her par effort to seal her 11th LPGA Tour title.
"I played great. I hit one bad tee shot. I'm really happy. I tried to stay aggressive. I didn't really look behind and I didn't really look at the board," Pettersen said.
"Lizette played outstanding. That's what you've got to do to win tournaments. She kept pressing me, which kept me on my fifth gear."
Ariya Jutanugarn closed with a 6-under 66 to grab third place at minus-15. Women's world No. 1 Inbee Park (67) and I.K. Kim (65) shared fourth at 13- under-par 275.
Miyazato, last year's winner, managed an even-par 72 in the final round. She ended alongside Na Yeon Choi (66) and Jessica Korda (69) at minus-11.
Stacy Lewis (71) and amateur Lydia Ko (66) were among six players that tied for ninth place at 10-under-par 278.
Pettersen was in control of the tournament on the ninth tee as she was five strokes clear of the field, and six ahead of Salas, at that point. Things quickly changed as Salas birdied the ninth, then holed her approach shot on the 10th for an eagle.
Salas was within three, and as quickly as she cut the deficit from six to three, she moved from three down to tied for the lead just as quickly.
The 23-year-old birdied the 12th and 13th to move to 16-under. Pettersen birdied the 12th from 20th feet, but stumbled to a bogey on the 13th after her drive hit a cart path and bounced out of bounds.
Salas drained a 6-footer for birdie on the 14th to join Pettersen atop the leaderboard. Pettersen responded with an up and down birdie on the par-5 14th and a 7-foot birdie effort at 15.
Salas answered Pettersen with a 10-foot birdie effort at 15 and 4-footer for birdie at 16. The pair were tied at 19-under par with two holes to go. Salas 2-putted for par on 17 and her birdie effort on 18 lipped out. She tapped in for par and a course record 62, then waited on the putting green for Pettersen to finish.
Pettersen drained a 7-foot birdie try on No. 17 to grab the lead at minus-20. At the 18th, her drive stopped in the right rough and she could only play her second short of the green. The 32-year-old chipped her third to about 20 feet and that putt stayed above ground to force the extra session.
On the front nine, Pettersen wrapped birdies at one and three around a bogey on the second. She later birdied the sixth and eighth to head to the back nine at 17-under par.
Salas had back-to-back birdies at the second and third. She stumbled to a bogey on the par-5 fifth, but came back with birdies at eight and nine to head to the final nine at 12-under.
NOTES: Pettersen earned $255,000 for the win ... She won on the Ladies European Tour earlier this year, and with this victory is projected to move to fifth in the world rankings ... Every scoring record from last year's inaugural event fell this week as new 18-, 36-, 54- and 72-hole scoring records were set ... The LPGA Tour heads to Texas next week for a new event, the North Texas LPGA Shootout.
04/20 22:51:16 ET